Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cisco Comments on Der Spiegel Report on NSA Capabilities

Cisco announced an investigation into reported claims that the NSA has developed  a catalog of special techniques to penetrate the firewalls of major industry players, including Cisco, Juniper and Huawei, along with other specific network equipment.  The report was published by Der Spiegel.

In a blog posting, John Stewart, Cisco's Chief Security Officer, said Cisco is "deeply concerned" about the allegation but "unaware" of any new product vulnerabilities and is seeking additional information.



Monday, December 30, 2013

India's Aircel Picks ZTE for 4G

Aircel has selected ZTE as a key supplier for its 4G network. Under the contract, LTE rollout will be initiated in Chennai, Rest of Tamil Nadu (RoTN) and few other business critical circles. ZTE is also migrating Aircel’s data services int he Chennai and ROTN circles to its evolved packet core. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ZTE noted its relationship with Aircel since 2008, where it has supported the operator's 2G-3G rollout in three circles of the north zone and played a key role in the launch of the Next Generation Networks (NGN) for Pan India. The EPC deployment in the south zones further strengthens the partnership and enables Aircel to provide high capacity and capability solutions with access agnostic functions for 2G, 3G and 4G LTE services.


Friday, December 27, 2013

China Issues First MVNO Licenses

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued the first licenses allowing mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to use the infrastructure of China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. A total of eleven companies were granted MVNO licenses in the first round, including the c-commerce company Alibaba.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Microsoft Plans Massive Data Center Expansion in Quincy, WA

Microsoft has acquired a 200-acre site in Quincy, Washington for a massive new data center for its Azure cloud services.  The first phase of the project is expected to come online in 2015.

Microsoft opened its first data center in Quincy in 2007.

Quincy is located in central Washington along the Columbia river.  Intuit, Vantage and Yahoo! also operate major data centers in the town.


Telstra Exits Hong Kong Mobile Market with Sale of CSL

Telstra is selling its Hong Kong based mobiles business CSL to HKT Limited for US$2.425 billion.

The sale, which is subject to regulatory approval in Hong Kong and HKT and PCCW Limited security holder approval, would equate to proceeds of approximately A$2 billion* for Telstra’s 76.4 per cent interest. HKT will also acquire the remaining 23.6 per cent shareholding held by New World Development.

Telstra CEO said market dynamics that make this the right time to sell CSL.

“CSL has been a strongly performing business, the compound annual revenue growth rate was 9.4 per cent over the last three years and we have gained market share. We are proud of CSL’s achievements. It has established itself as a premium brand and strong player in the market, last year adding 425,000 mobile customers,” said Mr Thodey. “However, there are a number of dynamics in the Hong Kong mobiles market that means this is the right opportunity for Telstra to maximise our return on this successful asset.”


Monday, December 23, 2013

Seagate to Acquire Xyratex for HDD Testing

Seagate Technology agreed to acquired Xyratex (NASDAQ: XRTX), a developer of hard disk drive (HDD) capital test equipment, in an all-cash transaction valued at $13.25 per share, or a total of approximately $374 million, including approximately $80 million in cash on Xyratex’s balance sheet.

Seagate said the acquisition will strengthen its vertically integrated supply and manufacturing chain for disk drives and ensure uninterrupted access to important capital equipment. The acquisition also expands Seagate’s storage solutions portfolio by adding Xyratex’s enterprise data storage systems and high-performance computing business. Seagate will operate this business as a standalone entity and will focus on opportunities to improve and expand the business.  


China Unicom Deploys Huawei's Small Cells in Harbin

China Unicom will begin deploying Huawei's AtomCell small cell solution in the city of Harbin.  The small cell network will use the same frequency as China Unicom's existing macro network without needing to invest in new transmission resources.

Huawei's AtomCell supports both wired and wireless backhaul depending on operator needs to greatly site resource acquisition and shorten time for network construction, and supports end-to-end IP RAN networking.  Financial terms were not disclosed.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

IBM to Acquire Aspera for WAN Optimization Software

IBM agreed to acquire Aspera, a start-up that offers software for accelerating data transfers.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Aspera claims its transfer technology can reduces transmission times for large files or data sets by up to 99.9 percent – potentially cutting a 26 hour transfer of a 24 gigabyte file, sent halfway around the world, down to just 30 seconds.

Aspera's "fasp" is a protocol designed to overcome problems with TCP regardless of packet loss, latency or file size.  The software is licensed to clients and partners either in the cloud or on premise. Customers include "virtually all the major broadcast television networks, Hollywood studios and CG/animation houses."

"Our team has redefined how the world’s biggest data can be moved quickly, securely and reliably around the world,” said Michelle Munson, president and co-founder, Aspera. "By tapping into IBM’s innovative capabilities and global resources, we will solve ever expanding data movement challenges for our customers now and in the future."

IBM said the Aspera technology is suitable for cloud services and will be integrated with IBM’s recently acquired SoftLayer cloud infrastructure later next year.


  • Aspera is based in Emeryville, California.  The company is headed by Michelle Munson, who previously was a software engineer in research and start-up companies including the IBM Almaden Research center before founding Aspera in 2004. 

DukeNet Tests SDN Orchestration with Cyan and Accedian

DukeNet Communications is conducting a software-defined network (SDN) proof-of-concept demonstration leveraging technology from Cyan and Accedian Networks.

The SDN use case demonstration involves applications running on an enterprise server dynamically placing requests for additional cloud data center virtual machines and associated network resources using OpenStack application program interfaces (APIs) and OpenFlow across the DukeNet network.

Cyan’s Blue Planet SDN Platform services the request on behalf of network resources and proxies the compute and data center network demands to an OpenStack server in the cloud data center. Blue Planet performs all functions necessary to turn up additional services across DukeNet’s network including carrier Ethernet and optical edge devices from Accedian Networks. The data center instance of OpenStack negotiates with compute resources and data center switches to allocate the necessary network and compute capacity.

“Conducted in a real world multi-vendor environment, the event validates our ability to dynamically spin up data center virtual machines (VMs) along with virtualized network resources for customers,” said David Herran, Vice President of Network Architecture and Technology Planning. “This capability ultimately will allow us to offer new, flexible, and elastic services to customers and will provide an important new means to monetize our network investment.”

“Cyan is proud to partner with DukeNet on such a cutting-edge and important industry demonstration,” said Michael Hatfield, President and co-Founder, Cyan. “The carrier space is looking for proof that SDN can help them create new services and reduce costs. At the same time, enterprise customers are looking for networksthat are as elastic as their data center and compute resources. This demonstration goes a long way in proving that these types of services can be realized through SDN technology.”


In October 2013, Time Warner Cable agreed to acquire DukeNet Communications for $600 million in cash, including the repayment of debt. 

DukeNet Communications, which is a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corporation, operates a regional fiber optic network company serving customers in North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as five other states in the Southeast.  Its fiber network spans over 8,700 miles and provides high-capacity services to wireless carrier, data center, government, and enterprise customers. Duke Energy owns 50 percent of DukeNet. The Alinda investment funds own the remaining 50 percent.

IBM Teams with China's 21Vianet on Enterprise Cloud Services

IBM announced a partnership with 21Vianet Group, a carrier-neutral Internet data center operator in China, to introduce a private cloud service in China.

IBM will provide the physical point of distribution (POD) and service while 21Vianet will host the POD facility at 21Vianet data center in Beijing.

Josh Chen, Chairman and CEO of 21Vianet Group, Inc said: “IBM is a global leading enterprise-level cloud computing provider. What’s more, IBM is a sincere partner, not only sharing its own technologies and services, but also growing together with us with business insights, management experience, operation and marketing to help drive innovation. Through this cooperation, 21Vianet Group, Inc has obtained not only business growth, but also comprehensive enhancement in service capability of cloud computing, providing a platform upon which enterprises to base their critical and production workloads for growth."

Laurie Tropiano, General Manager of GTS, IBM GCG said: “Today, IBM  and 21Vianet Group, Inc create the new era of enterprise cloud computing in China.  Our clients, the pillars of China’s economy, will see IBM further accelerating its efforts around driving innovation in China with enhanced IBM cloud offerings as a platform. We are setting a new benchmark for cloud computing performance in China.”


As of 30-June-2013, 21Vianet manages over 12,000 cabinets for over 2,000 customers from its data centers across China.

Alaska's GCI to Launch Gigabit Service in Anchorage

GCI announced plans to deploy Alaska’s first 1 Gbps, fiber Internet service in Anchorage by 2015.

GCI is Alaska's largest provider of Internet services with cable modem, wireless and dedicated access. Its cable television services pass 90 percent of the state’s households with 64 percent penetration.

“This announcement is another example of GCI’s continuing commitment to provide Alaskans the latest in communications technology. We were the first Alaska carrier to provide single-hop satellite long distance calling, the first to provide high-speed Internet service, the first to construct redundant high capacity fiber cable networks between Alaska and the lower 48, and the first to provide terrestrial broadband service in rural Alaska. Since our founding, GCI has invested well in excess of $2 billion in Alaska’s communications infrastructure, and we continue to lead the market in technological innovation. We’re focused on ‘what’s next?’ to benefit Alaskans,” said Ron Duncan, GCI president and CEO.


Ekinops Ships Coherent 100G Cards

Ekinops announced commercial availability of its new coherent 100G transponder and muxponder modules, compatible with its Ekinops 360 platform.  The new 100G transponder and muxponder leverage Ekinops' programmable T-Chip technology with forward error correction (DynaFEC).

The Ekinops 360 platform includes three chassis options: 1RU, 2RU and 7RU. The 2 and 7 RU options can accommodate in the same chassis 10G and 100G modules to optimize space usage. As a result, customers who already have deployed the Ekinops 7RU chassis and have available slots can immediately add 100G services to their network. The 7RU chassis can be configured with up to six 100G transponders or 100G muxponders, or a combination of both, to deliver three terabits of capacity in a single rack. The muxponder offers flexible aggregation for a variety of 8G, 10G or 40G services.


Western Australia's Trident Undersea Cable to Serve Oil/Gas Sector

The Trident Subsea Cable Project, which will connect Perth, the Pilbara, Jakarta and Singapore, announced a number of milestones.

The 7,000-km fiber cable will support western Australia's oil and gas sector.  Fujitsu has been awarded a Master Services Agreement to serve as head contractor. A marine fact finding study has assessed the proposed path for the subsea cable, matching GPS coordinates against available data for risks and obstacles such under-sea volcanoes. A terrestrial route study has also commenced.

Mark de Kock, Chief Executive Officer of Trident, said: “We started the Trident project in 2012 with a plan to build an international data centre in the Pilbara. The signing of the Master Services Agreement with Fujitsu was a momentous occasion for us; it is great to see activity well under way on the delivery an integrated, single network model between the three countries.” Within the first quarter milestone, Fujitsu has delivered the scoping phase studies which cover the proposed marine and terrestrial routes for the cable.


Intel Updates Data Center Software for Big Data Analysis

Intel updated its data center software products with security and performance enhancements for big data management.

The announcements include the release of Intel Graph Builder for Apache Hadoop software v2.0, Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop software 3.0, Intel Analytics Toolkit for Apache Hadoop software and the Intel Expressway Tokenization Broker.

"Some of the leading data-driven companies have invested heavily to create and implement their own big data analytics solutions," said Boyd Davis, vice president and general manager of Intel's Datacenter Software Division. "Intel is bringing this capability to market by providing software that is more secure and easier to use so that companies of all sizes can more easily uncover actionable insight in their data."

Some highlights:

  • Intel Graph Builder for Apache Hadoop software v2.0 is a set of pre-built libraries that enable high-performance, automated construction of rich graph representations that can model real-world problems and support a wide variety of third party graph databases, analytic engines and visualization tools.
  • The Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop software 3.0 includes support for Apache Hadoop 2.x and YARN with major upgrades to MapReduce, HDFS, Hive, HBase, and related components.
  • The Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop software includes a number of unique security enhancements to Apache Hadoop 2.x, delivering up to 20 times faster encryption as well as decryption of data at rest, transparent encryption of data in process in HBase, MapReduce, Hive and Pig applications as well as granular cell-level access control of data in HBase. 


Vodafone Malta Deploys Tellabs 8600 Smart Routers

Vodafone Malta is using Tellabs' 8600 Smart Routers for the 10G Ethernet backhaul network that supports its LTE service.

Vodafone Malta owns its own backhaul network, which consists mainly of 10 Gbps connections over fiber. The new solution comprises Tellabs 8660 Smart Routers, Tellabs 8630 Smart Routers and Tellabs Ethernet Line Card (ELC1) cards, all managed by the Tellabs 8000 Intelligent Network Manager.


GigOptix Raises $11.8 million in New Share Offering

GigOptix announced the pricing of its underwritten public offering of an aggregate of 8,325,000 newly issued shares of common stock at a price of $1.42 per share. The company expects to receive gross proceeds of $11.8 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and other estimated offering expenses.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Amazon Web Services to Launch in China

Amazon Web Services announced plans to launch cloud services from Beijing, China in early 2014.  China Net Center and SINNET will provide the infrastructure, network services, and CDN services.

In a blog posting, AWS cited a number of customers in China already, such as Qihu 360, Xiaomi, FunPlus Game, Mobotap, TCL, Hisense, Tiens, Kingsoft, Light in the Box,  NQ mobile, Papaya mobile, Madhouse, DerbySoft, Tap4fun, DeNA China, Boyaa interactive, Huan.tv, and Sungy Mobile Limited.

AWS China (Bejing) Regions will support a broad collection of services, in compliance with the country's legal and regulatory requirements, including:

  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)
  • Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS)
  • Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)
  • Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS)
  • Amazon DynamoDB
  • Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR)
  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC)
  • Amazon CloudWatch
  • AWS CloudFormation
  • Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS)
  • Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS)
  • Auto Scaling
  • Elastic Load Balancing
  • Amazon Glacier
  • Amazon Simple Workflow (SWF)
  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Amazon ElastiCache
  • AWS Storage Gateway
  • AWS Management Console
  • AWS Premium Support


European Commission and the 5G PPP Association Set Charter

The European Commission and the 5G PPP Association signed a contract to create a 5G public-private partnership (PPP). The 5G PPP will further develop 5G technology to prepare for the future standardization of the system and components that are expected to be deployed in the next decade.

The 5G PPP, which brings together a broad range of stakeholder from the communications technology sector, will deliver solutions, architectures, technologies and standards for the next generation communication infrastructures of the coming decade.

The EC said the total budget devoted by the public side to be EUR 700 million under the Horizon 2020 plan. Private sector players are expected to invest an equal EUR 700 million.

The 5G Infrastructure PPP is a contractual PPP and the European Commission will follow the rules of Horizon 2020 in terms of calls, selection, negotiation, contracting of project proposals as well as monitoring and payments of funded projects.

“This is an important milestone towards an industry-wide agreement on use cases, requirements and technologies for 5G,” said Dr. Werner Mohr, head of research alliances, NSN, who will chair the 5G PPP Association. “LTE and its continuous evolution will be sufficient until the end of the decade. However, after 2020 a new generation of technologies will be needed to address market demands. The industry and academia are working together to create a high-performance 5G environment.”

NSN is conducting research on the flexible use of spectrum and its propagation in new, higher bands, both for centimeter and millimeter wave. In addition, the company is working on system design for ultra-dense small cell deployments to deliver the high data rates and ultra-low latency that will be needed to support future use cases such as augmented reality and tactile Internet.


Huawei Plans US$600 Million Investment in 5G

Huawei plans to will invest a minimum of US$600 million in research and innovation for 5G technologies by 2018. The company predicts that the first 5G networks will be ready for commercial deployment starting in 2020 and will deliver peak data rates of over 10Gbps, 100 times faster than today's 4G networks. Eric Xu, rotating CEO of Huawei, said: "Innovation is a continuous journey. While we continue to evolve our existing 4G network capabilities,...

In June 2013, Huawei announced its participation in the METIS project, an initiative co-funded by the European Commission as an Integrated Project under the Seventh Framework Programme for research and development (FP7). METIS, which stands for Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty Information Society, aims to explore the foundations for 5G wireless systems. Huawei said it is playing the leading role in the Radio Link Technology...

Ericsson: Expect 5G Network-Society Technologies by 2020

With 4G LTE rollouts now underway by dozens of operators worldwide, interest is building in what comes beyond the LTE-Advanced standards. Speaking at the Ericsson Analyst Forum in Santa Clara, California,  Ulf Ewaldsson, Ericsson's CTO, said 5G is just a research concept at the moment and any vendor claims about having the technology in the labs is hype.  5G research projects underway in Europe and China are seeking to outline the requirements...

Samsung Electronics is testing adaptive array transceiver technology operating in the millimeter-wave Ka band at a frequency of 28 GHz at a speed of up to 1.056 Gbps to a distance of up to 2 kilometers.  The company said the technology will be the core of future 5G networks. The new technology sits at the core of 5G mobile communications system and will provide data transmission up to several hundred times faster than current 4G networks.

CloudNFV Advances with Proof-of-Concept Acceptance by ETSI NFV ISG

The ETSI Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Industry Specifications Group (ISG) has accepted the first proof-of-concept application covering expected use cases.

CloudNFV, which was set-up by CIMI Corporation President Tom Nolle, submitted the NFV proposal on behalf of its members, which include 6WIND, Dell, EnterpriseWeb, Huawei, Overture, Mellanox, Metaswitch and Qosmos.

The CloudNFV POC leverages extensions to the ETSI NFV framework based on work by the TMF (GB942 and GB922) and the IETF (i2aex).  The project's top goal is "to demonstrate a framework for the application of NFV principles to actual service provider service creation, deployment and management practices." This includes four CloudNFV service processes:  NodeBuilder, ServiceBuilder, ServiceBroker, and ServiceManager.

The approved PoC application is sponsored by Sprint and Telefonica.

The CloudNFV PoC is already being hosted in Dell’s Cloud in Santa Clara, California.  The group intends to publish the results of specific tests along with recommended additions and modifications.


Amazon's CloudFront CDN Gets Country-Specific Restriction Capability

Amazon Web Services has enhanced its CloudFront CDN with the ability to restrict content based on the geographic location of the viewer.  Publishers can now choose to whitelist or blacklist specific countries where their content may be viewed.  This is useful for dealing with geographic licensing terms for online media or software distribution.  AWS said the geographic restriction is now a native feature of CloudFront instead of requiring a third-party geo-location product.